Think of Austin and I’m sure its iconic annual festival springs to mind – not surprising if you’re planning a visit to the ‘live music capital of the world’. But this diverse scene is only the tip of the iceberg.
The downtown skyline may represent the cities growing music, film and technology industries. But in many ways, Austin still retains a small-town vibe, with the 351-acre Zilker Park as a spectacular back garden. The city’s evolving culture has brought with it ballet, museums and innovative dining. But you don’t have to look far to find shops selling traditional Texan cowboy boots, a 1930’s style bathhouse and historic buildings that are more representative of times past. Don’t overlook the hidden treasures. On a hot summers day you may find yourself drawn to the naturally chilled Barton Springs for a refreshing dip. Or Lady Bird Lake, where you can paddleboard or kayak as you admire the spectacular surrounds.
Be in awe of Austin’s festivals
In America, and especially Texas, things tend to be big. It just so happens that the biggest inner-city music festival in the world happens in Austin. South by Southwest (SXSW) takes place annually in March (2017 dates TBC) all over the city in different venues, bars and clubs. The second brilliant festival in the Texan capital happens 30 September to 2 October and 7 to 9 October, over two brilliant weekends. The Austin City Limits music festival takes place in Zilker Park, and has some huge bands and artists playing. Headliners include Kendrick Lamar, Radiohead and LCD Soundsystem, amongst very many others.